This summer, we covered the opening of Scientology’s newest Ideal Org in this country, its two new buildings in Harlem. We wrote at some length about the methods that Scientology used to try to keep us from reporting that event, and what fun we had. So which will be the next Scientology “Ideal Org” opened in the U.S.? After a photo we received from a couple of tipsters this week, we think the next David Miscavige grand opening event might happen in San Diego.
The path to an Ideal Org in San Diego has been a difficult one. Way back in 2006, wealthy San Diego Scientologists Kurt and Jenny Listug paid $13.08 million for the Chicago Title Insurance Co. building downtown, which had a pretty funky look to it. Our sources told us that the Listugs offered it to the church to use as an Ideal Org and replace the longtime home of Scientology in San Diego, a building on 4th Avenue just south of Ash Street. The national office turned their noses up at the Listugs’ offer, and so the couple sold it for $13.6 million.
The national office instead coveted the campus of Coleman Preparatory School, an 8.6-acre property in La Mesa, about 11 miles from downtown San Diego. By 2013, they’d changed their minds again and sold the Coleman campus site, and then we learned that they intended to end up where they started, renovating the old facility on 4th Avenue.
As renovations have been going on, the church has been housed in a temporary location in an industrial park north of downtown. And now, things are looking nearly complete at the 4th Ave location…
Could San Diego be the next place for a grand opening? If you know about another location which is closer to completion, let us know.
Skip Young tells us he might be interested in showing up if David Miscavige comes to his town. “Maybe I’ll go shake his hand,” he laughed.
We asked him what had happened since our story about him in March.
Skip occupies an interesting place in Scientology history and provided a footnote in the infamous Snow White Program. But more importantly to him, he’s lost contact with his two daughters, who disconnected from him once he moved away from the church.
We asked him what had changed since we last spoke with him.
“I heard from a friend that I’ve been declared,” he said. But he didn’t sound very surprised to learn that the church has now officially excommunicated him.
As for his daughters, he thinks the younger one, Alexis, who is in the Sea Org, may have gotten married. “I don’t even know who the guy is,” he said, sounding chagrined.
He’s not giving up trying to get them back in his life.
“On October 8, my birthday, I sent them both birthday cards. They were addressed to me as if they had written them,” he said with a laugh. He wanted to get them thinking about what they were missing after breaking up the family.
Skip’s daughters live in Florida, where they work for the church.
Back in San Diego, he’s about to get a reminder with a new Ideal Org on the way that Scientology will do what it can to keep him from ever seeing his daughters again.
UPDATE: And here it is, proof that the grand opening is imminent! Note there’s no date on the flier. But it can’t be too far off now…
Chris Shelton on ‘Scientology’
HowdyCon 2017 – the website!
We hope you can join us in Denver this June for this website’s second annual convention, HowdyCon 2017. Denver resident Kim O’Brien is organizing things for us, and her hard work has paid off in the form of a website. Please give it a visit and start making your plans!
Bonus items from our tipsters
Hey, girl. I donated $250,000 and for that I got this Patron Meritorious jacket. Come over the Star Trek air bridge to Flag with me!
For a limited time only!
Back home in his native San Francisco, Scientology’s in-house rapper Chill EB attends a protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Is there hope for him yet?
E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts
Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ
Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield